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More about Internet Privacy: P3P

Click the "View" tab in Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 6 or greater. Slide down to "Privacy Report" and select it. A window will open on your computer screen. When the window opens you will see a white panel within the window which displays all the URNs (source location) for the objects making up the content of the visited page. Select one of these with your mouse and as you do you will see a button on the window labelled "Summary" come alive. Press the "Summary" button. Another window will open. The privacy policy of the web site owner supplying the referenced object will pop up. Read it. If it doesn't open after a short wait, and if the browser tells you it can't find such a privacy policy posted for that site, be wary. Try it now from here.

The Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P), developed by the *World Wide Web Consortium at MIT, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is emerging as an industry standard providing a simple, automated way for users to gain more control over the use of personal information on Web sites they visit. At its most basic level, P3P is a standardized set of multiple-choice questions, covering all the major aspects of a Web site's privacy policies. Taken together, they present a clear snapshot of how a site handles personal information about its users. (*The W3C is an international industry consortium of over 420 organizations jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the U.S., the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan.)

P3P-enabled Web sites make this information available in a standard, machine-readable and transparent format (XML language). P3P enabled browsers can "read" this snapshot automatically and compare it to the consumer's own set of privacy preferences. P3P enhances user control by putting privacy policies where users can find them, in a form users can understand, and, most importantly, enables users to act on what they see. To learn more about internet privacy we suggest you conduct a Google search from here.

The antithesis to P3P should be read too. You will find that at: http://www.epic.org:80/reports/prettypoorprivacy.html
Clearly the privacy issue is a significant one.

Only My Computer Cop© provides a firm handed solution to enforcing your online privacy needs.

 

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